If you don’t understand what Director Gary Bartlett is trying to explain to the State Board of Elections in this video that’s okay, it’s pretty evident the Board doesn’t understand too much either. The video is a clip of the State Board of Elections meeting yesterday. It shows Bartlett’s attempt to explain provisional voters whose votes counted but maybe shouldn’t have counted to the Board.
Best I can tell, from Bartlett’s cryptic explanation, these voters moved out of the county and updated their driver license, but went back to vote in the county where they were registered to vote and their vote counted. Bartlett said that the county boards did not have time in the provisional process to verify where the voters lived because they weren’t “caught in time.”
That’s okay though, according to Bartlett, this type of “discrepancy” is only a problem if there is a contest where the votes would impact the outcome. Take for example State Senate District 1, where the Republican is leading by 21 votes and there are 20 questionable provisional votes. As an aside you have to wonder how many same day registrants had their votes counted and their verification notices returned undeliverable in Senate 1…
Maybe the most disconcerting thing to me is the way the Board thinks about voting in general – you can hear the Republican member (Chuck Winfree) begin to discuss the possibility of allowing votes to count if the voter doesn’t live in the county where they voted but does live in the district. No doubt Winfree thinks he should be reappointed to the new Board of Elections that the new Governor will appoint in May of 2013. SOMEBODY HELP US PLEASE.
This type of interpretation of the law is frightening – but, unfortunately nothing new for North Carolina’s Board of Elections. This is exactly how we have gotten into the mess we are in now — Not enough time to research provisionals – let them count, not enough time to verify same day registrants – let them count, not enough time to challenge voters who shouldn’t have voted – let them count. How are we ever going to determine who really wins in North Carolina anymore?
But we shouldn’t be surprised, this is the logical next step I guess. Some time ago the State Board of Elections determined that if a voter decided not to vote in their precinct on Election Day and voted in another precinct that their votes would count for all the races they are eligible to vote in their precinct.
In the last seconds of the video Bartlett says, “one of the things that I think we should do is request that information before each election from the DMV to do a crosscheck to see how many people have moved who have not updated…” This Board has become all too reliant on information about voters from the Post Office and the DMV (scary huh?), but will not even attempt to contact almost 20,000 voters on the voter rolls who appear to be 112 years old.
We need a State Board of Elections that expects North Carolina voters to be responsible citizens and register to vote by a deadline, keep their voter registration current and tell the truth.
May 2013 can’t get here fast enough.